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1/4 sheet palm sander or random orbit sander?

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Richard_C

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I've no experience of modern sanders, I get by happily with a c. 1960 Black and Decker vibrating sander attached to a drill which came out of my Dad's garage all those years ago.

My daughter is about to buy her first house and will need to be kitted out with a few tools. It's 200 miles away so can't just borrow mine. They already have a decent DeWalt 18v drill driver but that's about it. Its a 1930s house all OK but needs masses of redecoration including much sanding of wood. One living room wall is once-trendy T&G, dare not remove it because it probably covers plaster horrors, which needs sanding and refinishing in some way. Plus window cills, some of the doors ....

She more marathon runner than weightlifter in build so it needs to be reasonably easy to handle. 1/4 sheet (Like the DeWalt DWE6411) looks to be the sort of thing, but I also see random orbit sanders. Budget is limited, don't want to blow it all on a sander when other things are needed.

So the question - what are the + and - of random orbit vs 1/4 sheet for this sort of general purpose work?
 

Yojevol

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The 6411 will be better at getting into corners but will be slower than an ROS. You can easily make your own 1/4 sheets from a 115mm roll although you'll have to punch the holes for dust extraction. For the ROS it's best to fit an intermediate pad to save wear on the expensive base pad - they do wear.
I only use my 6411 for small areas of light sanding. I think it might be an idea to get a decent ROS and consider a cheap detail sander for getting into those tight spots.
Brian
 
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marcros

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OT, but could I suggest that you get a decent set of brushes, decent set of rollers and a couple of decent dust sheets. When I moved into my first (and only) purchased house, I made do with the cheapest possible brushes and the cheapest rollers and they are horrible to use. You can make a much better job with decent ones and they last.

From memory, a set of Harris brushes (16?), a set of Hamilton rollers with tray and long handle extension, and 2 cotton type dust sheets cost me about £35 all in from Costco. The range may have changed it was a few years back.
 

Jameshow

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I'd get a decent ROS and then a cheap detail sander. I've got the Wickes one which was only £12 at the time. Works great for small areas.

Cheers James
 

marcros

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I think also that this is a good time to think of buying the cheap tools with a decent guarantee, eg lidl/aldi. they will probably get some intense use over the first couple of years and if they dont last you can take them back. if they last that long and have plenty of use then they can replace with better versions. There is no way round that she will need lots of different things as she goes through the house. I prefer to buy quality, knowing that it will last me for years.

I have a nice Metabo ROS and it has 2 modes on- fast and slow stock removal. It still wont get into corners though. Think they are just over £100 now, but as good as it is it is overkill for what she needs.
 

TheUnicorn

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I have a nice Metabo ROS...Think they are just over £100 now, but as good as it is it is overkill for what she needs.
surely new house, lots of wood to be sanded before redecoration, completely justifies a £100 plus spend on a quality, reliable machine?

I'd buy a good quality ROS and simply hand sand corners and details
 

marcros

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surely new house, lots of wood to be sanded before redecoration, completely justifies a £100 plus spend on a quality, reliable machine?

I'd buy a good quality ROS and simply hand sand corners and details
dunno, I dont disagree with you. for me personally I expect my ROS to be used on most jobs (as a hobbyist) and to last for 10+ years. I am in it for the long run and what I buy either replaces or supplements what I have. I am not needing to buy multiple things. For this project you could soon amass some value in tools that wont be used again after it is done. I am just trying to avoid spending somebody else's money when they have said that budget is a factor.

personally I would probably buy the quality tool knowing that it will be used over and over. I have started to look more at factors like noise and vibration levels in my consideration, with price being a factor but less than 10 years ago. Ultimately, the best solution on this situation is that every tool gives up the ghost on the last square mm of what it is needed to do, is in guarantee and a refund is given (assuming that they have no plans for them after the house refurb)!
 

TheUnicorn

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dunno, I dont disagree with you. for me personally I expect my ROS to be used on most jobs (as a hobbyist) and to last for 10+ years. I am in it for the long run and what I buy either replaces or supplements what I have. I am not needing to buy multiple things. For this project you could soon amass some value in tools that wont be used again after it is done. I am just trying to avoid spending somebody else's money when they have said that budget is a factor.

personally I would probably buy the quality tool knowing that it will be used over and over. I have started to look more at factors like noise and vibration levels in my consideration, with price being a factor but less than 10 years ago. Ultimately, the best solution on this situation is that every tool gives up the ghost on the last square mm of what it is needed to do, is in guarantee and a refund is given (assuming that they have no plans for them after the house refurb)!
I understand your logic, but still feel a house refurb justifies a degree of expenditure. perhaps something like the £50 erbauer ROS from screwfix would be a good budget(ish) option, at least if that goes wrong in a month you can get a replacement from the store, if a lidl machine goes wrong, you can get your money back, but you're then short of a sander with no more in store in all likelyhood
 

marcros

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I understand your logic, but still feel a house refurb justifies a degree of expenditure. perhaps something like the £50 erbauer ROS from screwfix would be a good budget(ish) option, at least if that goes wrong in a month you can get a replacement from the store, if a lidl machine goes wrong, you can get your money back, but you're then short of a sander with no more in store in all likelyhood
and that is the biggest downside of the Lidl stuff. I would probably spend the extra bit and go for the screw fix although I haven't used any Erbauer stuff before. I would probably order it click and collect from her local branch too.
 

gcusick

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Plus, of course, a dust extractor. Shop vac with power take off.
 

Beanwood

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I see that Lidl are offering a combination '3 in 1' sander today that does ROS, Detail and sheet as separate heads.

Cheap as chips at £19.99, but I'm really not keen on Parkside - they seem to work well, but just appear really heavy...
 

Richard_C

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Thanks for all the replies. I've just about concluded that a ROS is the way to go and either hand sand the corners or get a small detail sander.

By budget, I was thinking sub £100 rather than over. I believe in buying decent 'core' tools, my drill and impact driver are Bosch Blue series, but when I looked at some ROS they were well over £100. I now see that a ROS quickly becomes a 'core' tool in regular use. I hadn't thought of Bosch Green/Makita Red, good suggestions.

No worries about Erbaur generally but going off the Screwfix brands a bit - can be hard to get consumables. I have a Titan sliding mitre saw, Titan being forerunner of Erbaur, perfectly good piece of kit but don't look at Screwfix to find blades of the right size and bore. Some reviews for Erbaur detail sander say the pads are unobtainable. The Bosch Green should be ubiquitous and easy to get sanding discs in a variety of grits with holes in the right place.

I bought my first house back in '76 - 44 years ago - and its surprising what you take for-granted because you have owned them years. A workmate type bench would be handy - my very basic 1976 B&D one still gets used a lot around the house and in the garden even though I have a proper bench in the garage. So the bill can easily get out of hand - hence budget comment in first post. At least I've got a lot of decent quality screwdriver/spanner type hand tools from my fathers garage, kept in a box for 14 years and now ready to be deployed. Agree with the points on paintbrushes - time has a value (even if not a direct cost) so no point in cutting corners with cheap brushes and budget paint.

Thanks again, question answered, ROS it is. Next thing is a non-rubbish simple workmate type bench.
 

JBaz

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I have all 3 types of sander (plus a belt sander which I rarely use and a 30 inch disc sander which scares the life out of me!)

For large flat areas the I use the ROS (blue Bosch 150), but usually with the item to be sanded removed (or not yet installed) and on the bench. If space is tight I switch to the 1/4 sheet sander (mine are Makita and they work very well).

I never use the ROS for things like in-situ window frames, skirting boards, architraves etc, as the large flat pad will take the corners/edges off the profile. I sometimes use the ROS for panelled doors, but again only the frames and faces of the panels (with the door off and laying flat). The mouldings have to be done by hand.

For mouldings, especially those in-situ, I find the detail sander much more useful. I would suggest that you look at a multitool with the sanding pad attachment. This will provide two tools in one.

I would also suggest that you look at some form of dust extractor, which can be fitted to many sanders. This is especially necessary if you are working on an older house, where some of the previous layers of paint may contain lead. I use a cheap shop vac fronted by a small cyclone and find it very effective when attached to a sander, or a grinder for that matter. The cyclone can stop even the finest dust from reaching the filter (bag in my case) and clogging it.

Lastly, you might think about throwing in some bulk-buy sanding discs/pads. Buying them in small quantities costs a fortune.
 
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